By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 4, 2011 – Six forward-deployed U.S. service members began their Fourth of July morning with telephone calls from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.
Panetta, sworn in as the nation's 23rd secretary of defense on Friday, reached out late Sunday evening to convey his thanks and support for their service, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Doug Wilson said today.
The defense secretary spoke by phone with service members deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Bahrain, Wilson said.
“They represent America's men and women in uniform who are away from their families on this July 4 weekend,” Wilson added, noting that they “come from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the Army National Guard.”
Panetta told each service member how proud he was of their service and emphasized to each his commitment to fight for them and their families as they are fighting for their country, Wilson said.
“He told each that he looks forward to meeting them during his travels as secretary,” Wilson added.
The names, home towns and locations where they are aserving are as follows:
U.S. Army Spc. Darwin Siquig is serving in Afghanistan and is from Kahuku, Hawaii.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Shain Frazier Jr. is serving in Afghanistan and is from San Diego, Calif.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Frankie Lizcano is serving in Afghanistan and is from San Antonio, Texas.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jay D'Amico is serving in Afghanistan. He is originally from Joliet, Ill., and now lives in Surprise, Ariz.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Frawley is serving in Bahrain. He is originally from Augusta, Ga., and he and his family now live in Newport, N.C.
Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Kelly Ann Pels is serving in Iraq. She is from Clermont County, Ohio.